The Los Angeles Rams came up just short of an upset in Week 13, falling in a divisional game to the Seattle Seahawks. LA’s offense showed signs of improvement and reason to believe a healthy roster can contend again in 2023. Playmakers, Tutu Atwell and Brandon Powell carried the offense. Were there any other positive takeaways on the offensive side of the ball in Sunday’s loss?
In order to gain a sense of the performance of the roster and its direction, Pro Football Focus (PFF) graded out all the players from the Week 13 contest. Using the PFF grades and the eye test of watching the game, I will provide a weekly evaluation/grade.
Weekly Grade: Grade for that respective week
Season Grade: Grade for the position over the course of the season
Trend: Direction of the position group from last week to this week
*Denotes a player ranked in the Top 3 at the position*
Matthew Stafford: 67.0 (IR), John Wolford: 40.0 (-5.0), Bryce Perkins: 59.9 (+1.5)
John Wolford got the nod from Sean McVay as the starting quarterback in Week 13 with Matt Stafford on injured reserve. Wolford finished the game 14/26, 178 yards, zero touchdowns, and two interceptions. Wolford scrambled five times for 29 yards. The box score did not look friendly for the Wake Forest alum. He did lead the LA offense to 23 points, the team’s highest point total since Week 6. McVay took ownership for Wolford’s first interception, even though it was still underthrown. The second interception at the end of the game was completely on Wolford as the ball was thrown 20 yards short of a wide receiver. I still believe that Wolford is a better option than Perkins. He made a few throws that Perkins simply is not capable of making.
Week 13 Grade: D+, Season Grade: D, Trend: Very Slight Upward
Cam Akers: 66.6 (-0.4), Kyren Williams: 66.0 (-2.2), Malcolm Brown: 55.4 (PS), Ronnie Rivers: 64.5 (PS)
I mentioned a few weeks ago that Cam Akers might be out of the doghouse with Sean McVay. It appears to be the case after Week 13’s sample size. Akers had 17 rushes for 60 yards (3.5 avg) and two touchdowns. It was a surprise performance considering Kyren Williams was the hot hand last week against Kansas City.
One week later:— Alex Johnson (@a_johnsonFF) December 5, 2022
Cam Akers: 72%
Kyren Williams: 28%
There has been no news surrounding Sean McVay and Cam Akers the last few weeks which is a fantastic sign that they are mending their differences.
Even though Kyren Williams saw a smaller role (three touches) in Week 13, his future is bright with this team.
Week 13 Grade: B-, Season Grade: C+, Trend: Slight Upward
Cooper Kupp: 86.3 (IR), Allen Robinson II: 65.8 (IR), Van Jefferson: 61.8 (+1.4), Tutu Atwell: 85.4 (+1.7), Bennett Skowronek: 54.0 (+1.4), Brandon Powell: 74.4 (+8.6), Lance McCutcheon: 47.8 (INA), Jacob Harris: 73.7 (DNP), Austin Trammell: 67.2
After Cooper Kupp’s injury, I said it would be a blessing in disguise. The Rams would find out which playmakers would pair well with Kupp moving forward. It seems we have a strong indication of who that might be. Tutu Atwell. He has been nothing but consistent when his number has been called. Sean McVay said as much in his press conference on Monday...
“Probably should have gotten more opportunities earlier in the season, and that’s something I won’t run away from, because all this guy has done is answer the bell when he’s had his chances.” - Sean McVay, 12/5/2022
Brandon Powell also gave McVay reason to trust him more. The speedy wide receiver and return man rushed three times for 45 yards and caught four receptions for 39 yards. At the very least, Powell’s Swiss-army knife ability gives McVay an above-average third running back option and someone who can be pressures via the screen game.
Week 13 Grade: B+, Season Grade: C+, Trend: Moderate Upward
Tyler Higbee: 58.8 (+0.8), Brycen Hopkins: 53.1 (+1.1)
Thomas Brown’s tight end room continues to barely show a pulse. In his last six games, Higbee has 17 receptions, 154 yards, zero touchdowns. The Rams are paying him $8+ million to collect 25 receiving yards and be below-average at run and pass blocking.
Week 13 Grade: D, Season Grade: D-, Trend: Neutral
Ty Nsekhe: 65.2 (+0.1), David Edwards: 58.2 (IR), Brian Allen: 63.9 (-0.6), Coleman Shelton: 53.3 (-0.1), Rob Havenstein: 73.2 (+0.6), Bobby Evans: 29.8 (DNP), Oday Aboushi: 62.8 (+0.0), Matt Skura: 49.1 (+2.7), AJ Arcuri: 48.4, Jeremiah Kolone: 36.1 (PS), Joe Noteboom: 67.0 (IR), Tremayne Anchrum: 60.0 (IR), Alaric Jackson: 64.1 (IR), Chandler Brewer: 70.8 (IR)
The Rams rolled out an offensive line combination of Ty Nsekhe, Oday Aboushi, Brian Allen, Coleman Shelton, and Rob Havenstein. The boys up front created running lanes to the tune of 171 yards. Over the last three games, the Rams are averaging 145.0 yards per game which is a significant improvement over the first nine weeks of the year.
The Rams are starting their 12th offensive line combination in 12 games.— Sarah Barshop (@sarahbarshop) December 4, 2022
The Rams still need to address their offensive guards this offseason. Oday Aboushi and Coleman Shelton are quality backups, but LA should not feel confident in them as 17 game starters. I believe Shelton in particular struggles with physicality. He is undersized and does not possess a lot of strength. He is better suited as a backup center.
Week 13 Grade: C-, Season Grade: D, Trend: Very Slight to Slight Upward
HC (Sean McVay)
Sean McVay still has his team competing 13 weeks into the season and well out of playoff contention. As a fan, it was fun to see the passion coming from Brandon Powell, Bobby Wagner, Jalen Ramsey, and supporting defense.
In his postgame conference Sunday and in a video conference Monday, Sean McVay sounded more upbeat and optimistic. He complimented Bobby Wagner, highlighting how he can learn from the veteran linebacker. In addition, McVay admitted his faults about Tutu Atwell. The head coaching admitting his failure is a good sign that he too can improve for the remainder of the season and sees new wrinkles and opportunities for his offense in 2023.
Week 13 Grade: A-, Season Grade: C+, Trend: Slight Upward
Stay tuned within the next 24 hours for the defensive PFF grades from Week 13 for the Los Angeles Rams roster overview!
Should the Rams re-sign Brandon Powell to come back in 2023? (Assuming its < $3 million)
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